Peb­ble Beach pros safe from Trump, for four years at least

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MARK PURDY

The 45th pres­i­dent, Don­ald Trump, is not mod­est about his prow­ess on the links. He once said: “There’s very few peo­ple that can beat me in golf.”

Maybe that’s true. But in his vis­its to North­ern Cal­i­for­nia for the AT&T Peb­ble Beach Na­tional Pro-Am, that has not been the case. He’s never won any­thing. The event, which pairs celebri­ties with PGA Tour pro­fes­sion­als, takes place ev­ery Fe­bru­ary on the Mon­terey Penin­sula.

He is not en­tered in this year’s tour­na­ment, which be­gins Thurs­day. But seven pre­vi­ous times, has ac­cepted in­vi­ta­tions to the event. His first ap­pear­ance was in 1993 and his most re­cent one in 2006. His two-man team has never made the cut af­ter 36 holes — al­though tech­ni­cally, Trump is 0-for-6 be­cause the 1998 Pro-Am’s third round was washed out by bad weather and never re­played.

Be­cause of the tour­na­ment’s for­mat, it is dif­fi­cult to break down pre­cisely how much Trump was re­spon­si­ble for those re­sults. Am­a­teurs do not sub­mit their own in­di­vid­ual score­cards. Only the two-man team score is recorded with the ama­teur re­ceiv­ing hand­i­cap strokes. The pro also keeps his own in­di­vid­ual card. If the two-man team does not make the cut af­ter round three, the pro plays Sun­day’s fi­nal round on his De­spite that over­all medi­ocrity, fu­ture Pres­i­dent Trump pro­duced one mo­ment of sub­lime glory at the AT&T, which is played on three dif­fer­ent Mon­terey Penin­sula cour­ses. In 1993, he made a holein-one on the 12th hole at Spy­glass Hill, us­ing a 5-iron af­ter he over­rode pro Paul Goy­dos’ sug­ges­tion of a 6-iron and in­stead fol­lowed the ad­vice of a lo­cal cad­die, “Rocket” Ly­tle.

Will Trump ever re­turn to play at Peb­ble? If I’m mak­ing a guess, he’ll be back one day. At least one other for­mer pres­i­dent, Ger­ald Ford, played in the tour­na­ment af­ter leav­ing office.

Trump’s com­pany has de­vel­oped or op­er­ates 18 re­sorts or cour­ses around the world — “the great­est golf port­fo­lio ever as­sem­bled by one man,” ac­cord­ing to the Trump Golf web­site. For busi­ness and pro­mo­tional brand­ing pur­poses, he’s bound to re­turn one day to the Pro-Am field. Just prob­a­bly not in the next four years.

, TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

Don­aldTrump’s com­pany has 18 re­sort cour­ses world­wide, but don’t ex­pect to see him back atthe Peb­ble BeachPro-Am any time soon.

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